Jackson: "The players have to step up now"

Johnnie Jackson has called on his players to step up after Charlton suffered a sixth league defeat in seven at Accrington Stanley on Saturday. 

Jayden Stockley converted an 18th-minute spot-kick to give the Addicks an early advantage in Lancashire, only for Rosaire Longelo and Tommy Leigh to turn the game on its head by notching two goals in five first-half minutes. 

“The nature of both goals, especially the first one, is embarrassing, to be honest,” Jackson told CharltonTV. “We haven’t stood up to it today and I can’t defend that. All week we’ve been talking about what they do and how they were going to try and affect us. 

“One thing you do have to do when you come here is be ready to stand up against that and we haven’t. We’re conceding the same goals every week and it’s disappointing, because obviously we address it and we work on it tirelessly. 

“The second goal is a goal that we’ve conceded so many times; another thing that we speak about - not allowing players to come back inside and open up the goal for those shots. If they are going to get shots off, you force them away from the goal and it gives your goalkeeper more of an opportunity. I’ve lost count of the times that I’ve said that to the group and we’ve worked on that, so when you see things like that happening over and over it’s really frustrating.”

Stanley goalscorer Leigh was given his marching orders on 63 minutes after elbowing Sean Clare during an aerial contest, and the boss was left frustrated that his side failed to make their numerical advantage tell.

“We didn’t create enough and when we did get it in promising situations we weren’t cute enough or brave enough to take those opportunities,” he added. 

“It became tough because obviously Accrington got men behind the ball with a solid, narrow back five to try and stop any spaces. They did that well and that’s credit to them, but we have to find a way. We had long enough there; we need to be doing more and the players need to take that responsibility on.”

The Addicks face an immediate turnaround in Sky Bet League One with Gillingham visiting The Valley on Tuesday night.

“The players have to step up now,” said Jackson. “It’s my task to try and rebuild this team, this football club and I need to see who wants to be on that journey. Obviously, what I’m seeing at the minute is not good. 

“I’m going to be making a lot of judgement calls on players over the coming weeks, none more so than in these upcoming games. I’m going to be ruthless in my decision making about who I want to be involved in that journey.” 

Read Time: 3 mins